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July 17th, 2005

“…That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers”

(Hebrews 2:11)

The doctrine of “brethren” is a very important study. It is vital to the development of every Christian coming into the body of Christ to understand this concept. It is a term found plentifully throughout the Bible, and especially within the New Testament (adelphos). It is the term typically used to express relationship.

1. A genetic relationship, that is, siblings (Acts 1:14). The Hebrew is ah. The term for tribe is the plural ahim (compare Judges 1:3).
2. A cultural relationship, that is, Hebrew (Acts 1:16; 13:26a; Ex. 2:11).
3. A religious relationship, that is Jewish (Acts 1:29,37). Further indication of their Jewish religiousness may be seen in Acts 2:14, 22. There is over-lapping between cultural heritage and religious heritage. Carefully notice, also, that although this group was indeed religious, they were not as of yet forgiven; nor recipients of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38,41). Polite address seems evident in Acts 2:37 (see Gen. 29:4).
4. A relationship of Christian Sonship (Hebrews 2:10-13,17). Sonship is a relationship between the believer and God entered into through Christian baptism; that is by being born-anew (John 3:5; Tit. 3:5).
5. A relationship of love, as meaningful and mandatory (1 Jn 4:19-21).

To neglect this prime-time doctrine of “brethren” will lead to a failed relationship with Christ, with the church, and even with oneself (1 Jn. 3:10).

-Robert Housby

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